Thanatephorus cucumeris PT424 v1.0
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Photo of Thanatephorus cucumeris PT424 v1.0
Image Credit: Stephane Hacquard

This genome was sequenced as part of the 1000 Fungal Genomes Project - Deep Sequencing of Ecologically-relevant Dikarya, and more specifically as part of the Endophyte Genome Sequencing project, which seeks to sequence members of diverse lineages of endophytic species found in Arabidopsis, Populus and other plants to examine the functional diversity of fungi with a shared evolutionary history.

Thanatephorus cucumeris (anamorph Rhizoctonia solani) is a destructive root-infecting fungal pathogen (Basidiomycota phylum, Agaricomycetes family, Cantharellales order) that has a broad host range and causes disease on many economically important plants worldwide, including wheat, rice, maize, soybean and potato. R. solani is a globally-distributed soil-borne fungus employing a necrotrophic lifestyle to infect its plant host. Based on hyphal fusion and sexual recognition processes, R. solani  strains have been classified into fourteen reproductively incompatible anastomosis groups (AG1-13). Notably, R. solani is a multinucleate heterokaryon containing significant heterozygosity within a single cell, therefore affecting genome assembly quality and gene prediction accuracy. The sequenced Thanatephorus cucumeris PT424* strain has been isolated from healthy Arabidopsis thaliana plants grown in natural soil after surface sterilization of plant roots. This suggest either that its corresponding gene repertoire lacks important virulence factors required for plant invasion or that its pathogenicity is reduced in a community context. The sequencing of this fungal isolate is part of a larger project aiming at sequencing the genomes of numerous phylogenetically diverse root-associated fungi from Arabidopsis, Populus, and other plant hosts for further comparative genome analysis. Unravelling the genomic signatures reflecting the adaptation of these microbes to the host cell environment represent a promising way to better understand how the endophytic lifestyle evolved in phylogenetically unrelated fungal species. Comparative genome analysis between different plant hosts, and between saprotrophic, mycorrhizal, and pathogenic fungi will provide new insights into the specific adaptations but also the conserved signatures associated with these different lifestyles.

Researchers who wish to publish analyses using data from unpublished CSP genomes are respectfully required to contact the PI and JGI to avoid potential conflicts on data use and coordinate other publications with the CSP master paper(s).

 

*Note that the strain ID is based on the closest NCBI hit. We need to validate the phylogeny using whole genome sequencing data and attribute a novel strain ID.